1684 – Land grant of 412 acres is given to David Morgan.
1776 – The 13 American colonies declare independence from Great Britain. George Read, Thomas McKean and Caesar Rodney sign the Declaration of Independence on behalf of Delaware.
1777– The Great Seal of Delaware is adopted. [view image of The Great Seal]
Nov. 2, 1784 – Land is sold to Charles Hillyard III.
Dec. 7, 1787 – Delaware is the first state to ratify the United States Constitution. Delaware’s signers of the Constitution are Richard Bassett, Gunning Bedford, Jr., Jacob Broom, John Dickinson and George Read.
1798 – Woodburn is built by Charles Hillyard III.
May 8, 1814 – Martin W. and wife Mary (Hillyard) Bates purchase Woodburn from Charles Hillyard III’s estate for $2,812.
Aug. 4, 1825 – Daniel Cowgill, Sr. purchases Woodburn from the Bates family for $3,000.
Sep. 15, 1877 – Edward H. Wilson marries Coralee Cowgill, granddaughter of Daniel Cowgill, in the Great Hall at Woodburn.
1885 – Woodburn is sold to Edward Warner and Sara Howell Wilson, parents of Edward H. Wilson, for $1.
1886 – Rear wing of Woodburn is added.
1912 – Sallie B. Holmes, Edward Wilson’s sister, sells Woodburn to U.S. Senator Daniel O. Hastings for $12,000. Hastings added the wraparound brick porch.
Jul. 24, 1913 – The current state flag is adopted.
Sep. 12, 1918 – Sen. Hastings sells Woodburn to Mr. & Mrs. Frank Hall for $18,000.
Sep. 1953 – Frank Hall sells the house and one and one half acres for $35,000 to Thomas and Elsie Murray, and the remaining land is sold to the Elizabeth Murphy School for $25,000.
1965 – Woodburn becomes official residence of the governor of Delaware under Governor Charles L. Terry, who oversees interior alterations and renovations. Murray Family sells Woodburn to the state of Delaware for $65,000 for use as the Governor’s official residence. In addition to the purchase price, the State also appropriates $70,000 for renovations and repair work.
Feb.1966 – Woodburn opens for tours to the public after undergoing renovations.
1970 – Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Wheatley of Smyrna plant a Dawn redwood tree (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) in memory of Governor Terry on the south lawn.
Jan. 1973 – Governor Sherman W. Tribbett and his family move in and use Woodburn as a primary residence.
Oct. 24, 1974 – Governor Tribbitt plants a Blue Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’) in the front yard.
Jan. 1977 – Governor Pierre S. du Pont, IV and family occupy Woodburn.
June 1984 – Governor du Pont plants a flowering Peach tree (Prunus persica) for the center of the driveway circle.
Jan. 1985 – Governor Michael N. Castle occupies Woodburn as the first bachelor.
April 23, 1987 – Governor Castle plants a Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) from a tree traceable to one planted at Mount Vernon by George Washington.
May 23, 1992 – Governor Castle marries Jane DiSabatino while he is still in office, and two American Holly trees (Bride and Groom Trees) are planted behind Woodburn.
Jan. 3, 1993 – Governor Dale E. Wolf, Lieutenant Governor for Governor Castle, serves as Governor for 17 days while Governor Castle is elected to Delaware’s lone seat in the U.S. Congress.
Jan. 10, 1993 – Governor and Mrs. Dale Wolf plant a Pink weeping cherry (Prunus subhirtella var. pendula ‘Rosea’).
Jan. 1993 – Governor Thomas R. Carper and his family occupy Woodburn.
Nov. 18, 1995 – Governor Russell W. Peterson plants a Snow Fountain cherry tree behind the Hall House.
Jan. 2001 – Governor Ruth Ann Minner occupies Woodburn as Delaware’s first female governor.
2005 – The Carpers plant an Eastern Redbud on the eastern corner of the property.
Jan. 2009 – Governor & Mrs. Markell and their two children, Molly and Michael move into Woodburn.